How to Create Habits that Stick

1st Quarter Refresh

The 1st Quarter Refresh is a 15 day challenge in helping you start off the year right. We tackle one task a day. Sign up now if you want to join (it’s free).

The first quarter of the New Year is a perfect time to knix a bad habit or try something new. Forming or breaking habits isn’t as easy as sticking to something for set number of days.

Habits are behavioral and usually have triggers. Let’s say you want to start a positive habit, say going for a run before work. This means you have to wake up earlier. You could try setting your alarm clock back by 15 minutes every few days until you finally woke up early enough to get a run in. That might not work if you hit snooze and keep sleeping.

Instead you might set your alarm clock across the room and set it for an hour earlier. This way, you’re less likely to fall back into bed if you’re already up.

Breaking habits are harder because you have to be aware of your triggers and replace them with something else. Let’s say, you want to stop drinking that 3PM mocha. You have to recognize what the triggers might be. Instead of going to get coffee when the clock hits 3:00, you might try going for a walk or stand up and do stretches at your desk.

Today’s Challenge: Change one part of your daily work routine

Do you usually check your email first thing? Try putting it off until noon. Do you sit at your desk during lunch? Try going out with friends or take a walk around the office.

I’m from Michigan, so I know taking walks every day at lunch is just not feasible during the winter. I did do laps around the inside of my office during lunch, walking the halls, I made a figure eight going up and down the stairs.

Take this day to recognize a part of your daily routine you want to change. Maybe it’s something you want to add or a habit you want to take out of it. Write down what you think the triggers might be to start or stop that routine. Then write down some behavioral changes that you can do to accomplish the routine.

It might be a sticky note on your phone that says not to check your email. Or you might use your phone to set reminders to get up from your desk once an hour. It’s up to you. It doesn’t have to be a big, life altering change. Pick something small to start and take it from there.

The routine I chose was to no longer leave my phone in the bedroom at night. I moved the phone charges to the kitchen and got a nice stand for my phone. I also got a bedside alarm clock. Since moving it out, I think my sleep has improved and I feel less anxious about checking it.

Here are a few ways to participate in the Refresh Challenge:

Sign up for the 1st Quarter Refresh!

Sign up for (free) 20 days of mini-challenges – designed to give you a professional head start into the New Year.

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Featured Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash


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